Google today (Nov. 7) is rolling out generative AI features in its Performance Max ad product as a beta to all U.S. customers, per details the corporate shared with Marketing Dive. Executives on the tech giant detailed how early tests have gone and what marketers can expect from the asset generation features, which were first announced at Google’s Marketing Live event in May.
“We’ve heard from our customers that creating, testing and scaling assets can be one among the toughest parts of constructing and optimizing a cross-channel campaign,” Amanda Silvernale, global product lead at Google, said during a virtual roundtable event about features which might be intended to assist advertisers streamline a process that has been “such an enormous pain point for them prior to now.”
First launched in 2021, Performance Max represented the first-ever AI-powered tool that works across all Google Ads inventory, including search, YouTube, display, Gmail, Maps and more. Since then, Google has improved the underlying AI and rolled out features that help advertisers use the tech and evaluate its performance.
“Marketers proceed to show to Performance Max to assist them stay ahead of consumer trends and reach and interact customers at the correct moments in time,” said Brendon Kraham, vp of search and commerce for Google Ads, who said the platform helps advertisers meet the “dynamism” of the ad market. “Customers [are] leveraging things like Performance Max to assist them maximize ROI during this critical time.”
The rollout comes as the crucial holiday marketing period is in full swing, and seeks to assist advertisers navigate an increasingly fragmented media landscape. During the 2022 holiday season, greater than half (54%) of shoppers used five or more channels to buy over a two-day period, per Google data, demonstrating the necessity for advertisers to quickly and simply generate assets for a wide range of channels.
With its latest feature launch, advertisers rolling out campaigns through the holiday season and beyond can generate all of the assets they need for a campaign by simply providing the URL of a preferred landing page, quite than creating a variety of text and image assets individually. From there, advertisers can view and edit AI-populated assets, including each stock and AI-generated images, with a guarantee that Google won’t ever create two equivalent images, even when given the very same prompt.
Early beta testers over the past month or so have said that the tools help them save time and resources, allowing them to more quickly experiment with creative ideas and ideas before bringing them to life of their campaigns.
“These assets have develop into a real game-changer for our creative team. This progressive approach not only saves us useful time but additionally enables us to craft high-quality, personalized visuals that resonate with our audience. With generated assets, we can experiment, adapt and tell compelling stories that bring people closer together, forging the connections that matter most in our lives,” said Jason John, CMO of 1-800-Flowers.com, in an announcement.
Concerns about AI
Google’s latest application of generative AI comes as the buzzy technology is the topic of headlines about its propensity to create reputationally harmful content and “hallucinate” false information. Generated assets are being developed consistent with Google’s AI principle and practices, and all images created with the tech can be identified and watermarked as such. Google said it has “guardrails” in place to stop systems from engaging with inappropriate or sensitive prompts, but executives couldn’t share details on safety measures as a matter of policy.
“Our models are at all times improving by way of quality and safety,” said Pallavi Naresh, Google’s Performance Max group product manager. “All of our generated assets undergo our standard ads review processes and are subject to all of our policies and enforcement mechanisms.”
Separate from issues around generative AI, Performance Max has been the topic of recent reports that maintain that some agencies have concerns concerning the inventory quality, transparency and performance of campaigns within the ad system. Asked about these reports by Marketing Dive, Google executives stressed that Performance Max requires a recent way of considering because it is optimized towards delivering on advertiser goals and outcomes in a different way than previous varieties of manual campaign construction.
“[Performance Max is] rooted in the shopper KPI, delivering against that KPI, after which sharing as much as we can from, say, an auction insights perspective, to grasp what may be occurring as it pertains to your particular performance,” Kraham said. “The primary focus is that core customer objective: what’s that KPI that they are most trying to perform, after which delivering against that.”
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